About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All in a Monday.

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and it was also the day I had an appointment scheduled with my endo to review my 6 month blood work. I was happy that despite going through a very rough personal life since my last blood work in October 2013, my A1c only went up .2 points to 5.9. Since my last A1c, I lost a loved one, ate my way through 5 holidays, started a new work contract, and had my beloved sweet dog get diagnosed with terminal, aggressive cancer a week before Christmas. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly in take-the-best-care-of-yourself mode. My stress levels were through the roof; not since my 3 auto-immune diagnoses in 2010 has my stress level been so high.

BP was a little high for me- 120/84, but I think that's because I was so frazzled trying to drive down the streets and find parking in St. Paul on ST. PATRICK'S DAY. The whole damn town is a party beginning at 9am. My clinic is located directly next to the slew of Irish pubs. It took me 35 minutes just to get into the parking ramp because of all the drunk leprachauns running around the streets and blocking the green lights, and all the streets that were closed or suddenly became ONE WAY in order to accommodate all the pedestrians.

The good news, my cholesterol levels and triglycerides were all excellent. My thyroid levels, however, were out of range, meaning a reduction in my Levothyroxine dosage. And my weight was decent, at 122 lbs, especially after the holidays, a long brutal winter, and very little exercise.

And a real interesting outcome- my C-Peptide levels show my body is still producing low amounts of insulin. The level has not changed since my diagnosis. Interesting, because when I was diagnosed 4 years ago, they told me I was in the “honeymoon phase” and that could last a year. Well, 4 years later I still have the same level of insulin production. Actually, between the first and second year of having type 1, my C-Peptide levels went UP. CRAZY, right???? I know that no one, including my physician, can answer this, but I wonder if I will keep producing insulin forever. What if? I believe anything can happen!

As you know I use the Omnipod insulin pump. It’s been how I’ve controlled my diabetes since diagnosis. I’ve never done MDI and I’ve never used a different pump. But recently (meaning in the last 9 months), I’ve been having A LOT of issues with my Omnipod pump. Technical issues- where the pump repeatedly fails, and also customer service issues- where I cannot get ANYONE to help me when I’ve called. I’ve placed 18 calls to them since last September to ask for help. So many pod failures- 13 that I’ve documented and reported to the company- in a short period of time. So much insulin lost as a result of the pod failures. And feeling as though I am not getting any assistance whatsoever when I call Insulet/Omnipod’s customer service. I have been reduced to tears more than once after getting off the telephone with their “customer service” department. I took my complaint to my CDE, who took it to her sales rep contacts at Insulet, who escalated it to the regional sales director in my area. I was told a manager in Insulet’s customer service department was special handling my case and all I needed to do was call and ask for her when I called or ask for another on-duty manager in her absence. So I did call, and asked for her, but she was out of the office. I was told by the customer service representative, who kept putting me on hold to try to find a manager, that the available on-duty managers were unwilling to take the call and they just told the customer service rep to “pass on a message to me from them.” Which by the way, didn’t address ANY of the questions I had asked about the pump malfunctioning or about receiving possible reimbursement for lost insulin. I can’t tell you how many unreturned calls to them I have placed. The customer service has been horrendous. I hang up with them and think Somebody shoot me; I can’t deal with them anymore.

Long story, but my endo told me that just about EVERY patient of his on the Omnipod has complained to him about repeated, ongoing pod failures since the release of their updated pump last year. He doesn’t know what is going on with them, but feels there is definitely an issue with the current model of Omnipod. I asked his opinion on the newest Medtronic 522 pump, but stated he does not like the CGM that is in the pump; states it is still inaccurate compared to the Dexcom G4. He actually recommended I take a closer look at the T-Slim pump, as he has received good feedback from his patients who use it.

I see the CDE this Thursday to discuss my pump questions. I am not sure whether I will switch from the Omnipod right this second. I will switch from them at some point. Firstly, I have several months’ worth of Omnipod supplies I need to use up before I switch to another pump. Also, I’d like to read more d-blogs and obtain more opinions from other T1’s who use different pumps to get their opinions.

So, all in all, the endo visit was good. I like my endo. He’s a bit of a wise ass, which I appreciate.

I’m in bed fighting an upper respiratory infection and wheezing, coughing my brains out today. I have covered my face, nose, lips and forehead with Aquaphor Healing Ointment because everything is so chapped from rubbing Kleenex against it (I swear it is the ONLY thing that works on my chapped skin). Sorry, no pictures. I have only left my bed to eat, go to the bathroom, and take care of my sweet doggy. Not to mention, I have man-voice right now, real deeeep. I have finally caught up on weeks’ worth of recorded Dr. Phil. I’m on the Z-pak, so I’m sure in a few days I will feel spiffy again.

1 comment:

  1. It's great to see that you have a good rapport with your doctor. It takes a good doctor-patient relationship to ensure that the diagnoses and medications are correct. This leads to better results at the end of the day. The customer service experience you described though was kinda awful, and I'm glad your doctor can point you in the right direction. These things are important to ensure that such things won't happen again. Take care!

    Aubrey Holloway @ Primary Care Associates